Neymar inspires Brazil in Confederations Cup win over Italy

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Football News

Brazil maintained their perfect record in the 2013 Confederations Cup, finishing top of Group A after a 4-2 victory over Italy in their final first round match in Salvador.

Neymar kept up his individual haul of scoring in every tournament game so far, when he fired home a sensational free-kick to put Brazil 2-1 ahead, after Dante's opener for the South American's had been cancelled out by Italy's Emanuele Giaccherini.

Fred grabbed Brazil's other two goals either side of a consolation strike from Giorgio Chiellini, in a match played for the right to avoid world and European champions Spain in the first knockout stage.

Both teams had already assured their place in the semi-finals, following victories over fellow group stage opponents Mexico and Japan, so will head into the next round in good momentum.

Saturday's clash looked set to be goalless at half-time before Dante turned home a free-kick at the back post in the second-minute of first-half stoppage time.

Italy's equaliser came from a swift counter-attack, with Giaccherini teed up by a brilliant Mario Balotelli assist in the 51st minute, only for Neymar to restore Brazil's lead less than four minutes later, blasting an unstoppable effort past Gianluigi Buffon.

Fred extended Brazil's lead further with a well-taken goal, before Chiellini gave Italy brief hope of a comeback, only for the 2012 European Championship finalists to come within a crossbar of making it 3-3, when Cristian Maggio's header smashed against the woodwork.

But, with no equaliser forthcoming, Brazil had the last say when Fluminense striker Fred grabbed his second with a close-range goal in the 88th minute.

Italy Football
Brazil Football

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